March 26, 2017

Washington Times, December 1, 2010: US Lawmakers Call on Secretary Clinton to Delist MEK

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America, Iran and a terrorist label

 REUTERS NEWS AGENCY Who says that the United States and Iran can't agree on anything? The Great Satan, as Iran's theocratic rulers call the United States, and the Islamic Republic see eye-to-eye on at least one thing, that the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) are terrorists. America and Iran arrived at the terrorist designation for the MEK at different times and from different angles but the convergence is bizarre, even by the complicated standards of Middle Eastern politics. The United States designated the MEK a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997, when the Clinton administration hoped the move would help open a dialogue with Iran. Thirteen years later, there is … [Read more...]

Delist MEK Petition

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Reality Check: Understanding the Mujahedin-e Khalq

The Huffington Post April 22, 2010 By Ali Safavi, Member of Iran’s Parliament in Exile; President of Near East Policy Research Aside from the clearly false allegations against the MEK, which have been addressed in previous posts, some of the MEK's activities inside Iran prior to 2001 have been cited by the US Department of State and others as providing ostensible justification for the terrorist label against the organization. The MEK's activities have been painted with an unjustified brush of terrorism, thereby conflating instances of otherwise legitimate resistance against a tyrannical system with horrid acts of blind terrorism. Readers are welcomed to comment or ask questions if they … [Read more...]

Reality Check: Mujahedin-e Khalq, Kurds and Shiites in Iraq

The Huffington Post April 6, 2010 By Ali Safavi, Member of Iran’s Parliament in Exile; President of Near East Policy Research One of the unsubstantiated allegations against the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) is that it was involved in the suppression of Iraqi Kurds and Shiites in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The source of this allegation, which later found its way into a 1994 Department of State report on the MEK,[1] and subsequently in the Department's Country Reports on Terrorism, is none other than the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). The fact is that in the aftermath of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the Iranian regime launched an extensive … [Read more...]

Reality Check: Understanding the Politics Behind the MEK’s Terrorist Designation

The Huffington Post March 31, 2010 By Ali Safavi, Member of Iran’s Parliament in Exile; President of Near East Policy Research The Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) has figured prominently in policy equations between Tehran and Washington since at least 1985. As recently as June 2007, in talks with the United States over Iraq's security, the Iranian regime's ambassador to Baghdad pressed the issue of the MEK and the presence of some 3,400 of its members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, as one of the most sensitive items on the meeting's agenda.[1] Aside from the unsubstantiated and bogus allegations against the MEK -- essentially fabricated by Iran's notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security … [Read more...]

What is the Purpose of the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations List?

PolicyWatch #1643 By Patrick Clawson March 18, 2010 The United States maintains a range of "terrorist lists," of which the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list is one of the better known. But in two recent court cases, the U.S. government has offered arguments that raise questions about the purpose of the list. FTO List vs. State Sponsors List Another list is that of state sponsors of terrorism. The act of naming a foreign government as a terrorism sponsor is one instrument among many to affect the general foreign policy stance of the country concerned. Yet in practice, the state sponsors category has become a list of governments Washington simply does not like, often with … [Read more...]

Reality Check: Understanding the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK)

The Huffington Post March 2, 2010 By Ali Safavi, Member of Iran's Parliament in Exile; President of Near East Policy Research The Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) was founded in 1965 by three Muslim university graduates and sought to replace the Shah's dictatorship with a representative government that respects human rights. But after the 1979 revolution, it fell victim to the new dictatorship's onslaught. So far, it has lost tens of thousands of its members and supporters to the ruling regime, most famously during a massacre in 1988, which Amnesty International has dubbed "a crime against humanity."[1] Though a Muslim organization, the MEK seeks a secular republic in Iran based on … [Read more...]

America, terrorists and Nelson Mandela

REUTERS NEWS AGENCY Woe betide the organization or individual who lands on America’s terrorist list. The consequences are dire and it’s easier to get on the list than off it even if you turn to peaceful politics. Just ask Nelson Mandela. One of the great statesmen of our time, Mandela stayed on the American terrorist blacklist for 15 years after winning the Nobel Prize prior to becoming South Africa’s first post-Apartheid president. He was removed from the list after then president George W. Bush signed into law a bill that took the label “terrorist” off members of the African National Congress (ANC), the group that used sabotage, bombings and armed attacks against the white minority … [Read more...]

Human bargaining chips in deals with Iran

REUTERS NEWS AGENCY Seven summers ago, in a crowded conference room of a Washington hotel, an Iranian exile leader gave the first detailed public account of Iran’s until-then secret nuclear projects at the cities of Natanz and Arak. It greatly turned up the volume of a seemingly endless international controversy over Iran’s nuclear intentions. The disclosures, on August 14, 2002, did little to earn the group that made them, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), merit points from the U.S. government. A year later, the Washington office of the NCRI, the political offshoot of Iran’s Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) resistance movement, was shut. The State Department placed the group … [Read more...]